Upcoming Events

More events

Welcome to Beacon Heights

Beacon Heights Church believes everyone is a child of God. We welcome all people, of any age, gender identity, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, family status, socioeconomic status, physical ability, mental ability, or place along their faith journey.

Through our wide welcome, Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren seeks to live out the motto of the Church of the Brethren... Continuing the work of Jesus. Peacefully. Simply. Together.

Pastor Brian Speaks on House Bill 1320

Pastor Brian was invited to testify against House Bill 1320, the bill looking to place restrictions on solar energy. You can read news coverage here: http://journalgazette.net/opinion/editorials/Wasted-energy-5142304

And here is Pastor Brian's testimony:

Thank you, Mr. Chairman and the members of the committee. Good afternoon. My name is the Reverend Brian Flory and I serve as the pastor of the Beacon Heights Church of the Brethren, a Christian congregation located at 2810 Beacon Street in Fort Wayne.

Numerous scriptures throughout the Bible speak to the importance of being good stewards of God’s creation. This is one of the many faith values that my congregation strongly believes in, as we seek to reduce our impact on God’s gift, this planet. Last year, in keeping with this faith value, our congregation decided to launch a creation-care focused capital campaign, part of which included raising money to install solar panels on our church roof. By the end of 2014, we had raised enough money for the solar panels and by the end of 2015, we plan to install them.

With the money we hope to save in energy cost, we hope to expand our ministries to the broader Fort Wayne area, which already include, but are not limited to a weekly food bank, partnering with a local homeless program, a vibrant preschool program, and a growing small group ministry. It has been enlivening for our leadership to work at visioning what the coming years will look like for our congregation and how we can devote the additional energy savings to serving the ministry needs we observe in our community.

This time of joy and vision for us is tempered by the news of this bill, HB 1320. In its current form, we believe this bill punishes congregations like ours for good and faithful behavior. And while we are grateful for the amendment offering an extension of the grandfathering date, my congregation remains concerned by two moral imperatives at play.

First, we are concerned for communities of faith in the future who choose to put their faith into action by installing solar panels. This bill impinges upon religious liberty by introducing economic uncertainty into the ministry and faith values of a church, synagogue, mosque or temple, by imposing arbitrary fees and by allowing the utilities to set an unfair price for the excess energy that solar panels or wind turbines will produce.

Second, we are concerned that the speed of this change does not take all perspectives into account. Proverbs 19:11 tells us that ‘a person’s wisdom yields patience.’ It would seem wise for this committee to engage in a broader and deeper study that includes not just the utility companies, but also small businesses, municipalities, communities of faith, and organizations with environmental concerns, each of which have diverse wisdom to share that could be helpful to your ability to representative the interests of everyone in this state.

Therefore, it is my congregation’s hope that the committee will vote no on this bill. Thank you.